October 18, 2010
Vol. 17, No. 4
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Family Weekend

color tour
Nice view: As part of Family Weekend, Mont Ripley gave chairlift rides, and the colors were great.

It's a great new tradition. A month or so after fall semester begins, families of the students are invited back to campus to see how their students are doing. It's also a chance to better explore the campus and the Keweenaw, and, judging from traffic around the campus and the towns, it was a rousing success. (More than 500 registered, in fact.)

The families had many choices to keep them busy. They could get a great view from the Mt. Ripley color tour. Bandarama was also held, to a packed Rozsa Center, and the bands rocked the crowd. Women's soccer was home, too, and won a couple of games on the pitch.

There were sunset cruises on the Keweenaw Waterway, morning Tech Trail rides, and even a golf outing that had a very good turnout, as I was witness to it Saturday afternoon.

They could also attend their students' classes if they wanted. And, since I'm in front of the chalkboard this semester, I was wondering if mom or dad might show up to see just what was passing for education nowadays!

Well, we had no visitors to the classroom in Fisher, although a few students did say their families were in town.

I guess they trusted that their children were getting a good education, and I hope the students agree.

Dennis '92, '09


You can share your "family visit stories" through the 125th anniversary website or the Alumni Association Facebook page. You can send me your memories, too, of course.


The colorologist was on Mont Ripley, checking out the view from the top.

"Past peak but not bad," he said.

All over but the shouting? I asked.

"That's not shouting, that's cheering," he countered. "We took three out of four points from Northern in hockey!"


"See you next year."

At Tech

Former Forestry Head Gene Hesterberg Dies

"Gentleman" Gene Hesterberg, 92, who booted more than one errant forestry student back onto the road to graduation and found jobs for countless others, died Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Delaware House of Portage Pointe, where he had lived for the past two years. Hesterberg, of Hancock, came to Michigan Tech's forestry department in 1948 and rose through the ranks of the faculty. He was named department head in 1962 and held that position until his retirement in 1981. More

Corporation Will Help Inventors Commercialize Technologies

Michigan Tech has established the Michigan Tech Entrepreneurial Support Corporation (MTESC). A nonprofit corporation governed by the University’s Board of Control, MTESC’s goal—like other successful university centers around the country—is to help move early-stage discoveries from university labs to successful commercial enterprises. More

Menominee County Shakeup Was an Earthquake, says Researcher

That shaking and loud noise experienced recently in Menominee County of Upper Michigan was indeed an earthquake, albeit a small one, according to a Michigan Tech researcher.“The large crack and ridge were created most probably by a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake,” said Wayne Pennington, chair of geological and mining engineering and sciences, of the events that took place Monday, October 4. More

Don’t Blame Dairy Cows for (Greenhouse) Gas Emissions

Forget all the tacky jokes about cow flatulence causing climate change. A new study reports that the dairy industry is responsible for only about 2.0 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions. The study, led by the University of Arkansas in association with Michigan Tech, measures the carbon footprint of a gallon of fluid milk from farm to table and uses 2007 and 2008 data from more than 500 dairy farms and 50 dairy processors, as well as data from more than 210,000 round trips transporting milk from farm to processing plant. It was commissioned by the Innovation Center for the US Dairy, an industry-wide group. More

Alumni Around the World

Saginaw and the Sault Tailgates

saginaw tailgate

Saginaw Valley Tailgate

Over 200 alumni and friends came out to support their Huskies on Saturday October 9th as they took on Saginaw Valley State University. Guests enjoyed some Keweenaw Brewing Company beverages and the Library Restaurant and Brewery's classic tailgate meal during the beautiful fall morning. Unfortunately the 4-0 Huskies lost 43-31 to Saginaw in a hard fought battle. Special thanks to Kim Klender '88 and family, Stephanie Krieger '94, RC Crannel '65, Pete '74 and Sue Cattelino for all their help.

Tech Hockey Tailgate LSSU
Tech alums and their families joined Lake Superior State University grads for tailgate at the Lukenda Alumni House lawn hosted by the LSSU Alumni Association. The event featured excellent grilled ribs and introduced LSSU alums to pickled eggs from the “Dog.”  The evening ended on a very positive note as Tech fans watched the Huskies beat the Lakers to sweep the Superior Showcase.

'71 Alum Stops By

John Baker

John Baker '71 was in town recently for an ASEE conference. John gave one of the keynotes for the conference that was held both on campus and at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor. His timing was perfect as the weather was great.

John was a photographer for the ME-EM department when he was a student, and he also shot photos for Carnival Pictorials and Keweenawan of 1970 and 1971, including the iconic photos of the May 1970 Kent State protest, which I have featured here a couple of times.

After the ASEE meetings, John had an opportunity to speak with some ME seniors and among other things, he enlightened the students about the days of slide rules, T-squares and triangles.


Questions about getting your MBA? We've got answers.

Registration for the Tech MBA® Online 2010–2011 webinar schedule is now open! Our virtual events discuss topics such as paying for your MBA (and getting your employer to help), choosing the right program, and specifics including how engineers and women benefit from getting MBA degrees. Here is the link to our webinar schedule: http://www.mtu.edu/business/mba/online/webinars/

Scholarships Available to Career Changers

Michigan Tech alums who are interested in pursuing a career as a mathematics or science teacher in secondary schools are eligible for one-year fellowships, under a new Tech program funded by the National Science Foundation for the next 5 years. Anyone with a degree in engineering, science, or mathematics can apply for these $18,000 awards to study at Michigan Tech for one year. Recipients will take courses in teacher education that lead to student teaching and teacher certification in math or science. The deadline to apply for the spring 2011 semester is November 1 and for the 2011-12 academic year is March 1.

Further information and an application is available at the program website. Or interested individuals can contact the Michigan Tech Division of Teacher Education (Brad Baltensperger, chair 906-487-2425, or Judy Anderson, certification officer 906-487-3570).

Fill in the Blanks

intramural footballIntramural football, 2006. Remember? Email me.

1956 Dorm Room

From the Gazette: Douglass Tech House students enjoy all the privileges and hospitality of most college dormitories. Here five men are chatting with each other over the plans for the evening prior to their study hours. The students had just completed their noonday meal when the photographer arrived. Jovial, but serious students, their room reflected perseverance and intent toward their engineering assignments. They are from left; Joseph Magyar of Fraser; Ray Theiler of Tomahawk, Wis.; Gene Jenne of Petersburg; standing a visitor from across the hall; Jerry Davis of Northville and William Neirynck of Detroit. Most rooms have two tenants this one has four, and all beds are single or double deckers. Remember? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Tech Hockey Remains Unbeaten With 5-5 Tie


The Michigan Tech hockey team extended its nation leading unbeaten streak to five games with a 5-5 tie with Minnesota State in WCHA action Saturday (Oct. 16). The Huskies (3-0-2, 1-0-1) are off to their best start since the 1972-73 season when the team started 8-0-0. The Mavericks (0-1-3, 0-1-1) are still seeking their first win of the season. More

Soccer Stumbles vs. Grand Valley

Kayla Addison scored a hat-trick to lead No. 3 Grand Valley to a 5-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference soccer win over Michigan Tech Sunday (Oct. 17). The Lakers (13-1-1, 10-1-1) finished with a 28-4 advantage in shots over the Huskies (7-7-0, 5-7-0). All four of Tech's shots were on goal. Addison scored the lone goal of the first half at 20:42 and scored the first goal of the second half at 55:00. The Lakers added three more goals including Addison's third goal at 84:33. Freshman MaryBeth Spoehr made 16 saves for the Huskies. More

Sports Summary

What’s Happening This Week (Complete Schedule)

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010
Fall Sports Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed Center)

Friday, Oct. 22, 2010
Women’s Tennis at GLIAC Tournament (Midland, Mich.)
Cross Country at UP Championships (Marquette, Mich.), 4 p.m.
Women’s Soccer at Northwood, 4 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
Women’s Tennis at GLIAC Tournament (Midland, Mich.)
Football hosts Northwood, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball hosts Grand Valley State, 4 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010
Women’s Tennis at GLIAC Tournament (Midland, Mich.)
Women’s Soccer at Saginaw Valley State, 2 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Ferris State, 3 p.m (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

All times Eastern. • Home events in bold

Last Week’s Results

Hockey (3-0-2, 1-0-1 WCHA)
10/12 — at Michigan Tech 4, Northern Michigan 4, OT
10/15 — at Michigan Tech 5, Minnesota State 2
10/16 — at Michigan Tech 5, Minnesota State 5, OT

Football (4-2, 4-2 GLIAC)
10/16 — at No. 8 Hillsdale 24, Michigan Tech 17

Cross Country
10/16 — Men 2nd of 8 Teams; Women 3rd of 10 Teams at UW-Parkside Invitational

Women’s Soccer (7-7, 5-7 GLIAC)
10/15 — at Ferris State 2, Michigan Tech 0
10/17 — at No. 3 Grand Valley State 5, Michigan Tech 0

Women’s Tennis (6-5, 6-5 GLIAC)
10/16 — at Michigan Tech 8, Lake Superior State 1

Volleyball (4-14, 2-9 GLIAC)
All Matches at GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament
10/15 — Bellarmine 3, Michigan Tech 1
10/16 — Maryville 3, Michigan Tech 1
10/16 — Michigan Tech 3, Kentucky Wesleyan 1

Other Top News of the Week

The Michigan Tech cross country teams fared well at their first meet in three weeks. The men were 2nd of eight teams and led by Brian Stetter’s second-place finish. The women were 3rd of 10 teams behind a Deedra Irwin’s seventh-place showing.

The Michigan Tech women’s tennis team won five of its last six matches including an 8-1 win over Lake Superior State Saturday (Oct. 16) to finish the fall regular season at 6-5 overall. The Huskies 6-5 record has earned them a berth into the GLIAC Tournament in Midland, Mich., this weekend (Oct. 22-24).

Michigan Tech will host its final fall sports luncheon of 2010 this Thursday (Oct. 21) in the Begg Conference Room of the Grant Hockey Educational Center. Featured guests will be football coach Tom Kearly and volleyball coach Orlando Gonzalez. The luncheon will begin at noon and a complimentary lunch will be served.

Around the Keweenaw

Rally Remembers

rally car
As the Lake Superior Performance Rally begins a new chapter, organizers are remembering one of the chief authors of the event’s history. Jon Davis, who passed away in January, brought what was then known as Press On Regardless to the Copper Country in 1977. In addition to several years of exceptional driving, Davis was the chief organizer for the event and helped turn the Copper Country into the rally hotbed it has become by coordinating the support of the public, local business and the rallying community. More

Houghton Streetscape Awards Presented

Houghton city officials and downtown merchants were on hand Monday night for a presentation of a national award for the city's Shelden Avenue streetscape project. City Manager Scott MacInnes presented gold National Partnership for Highway Quality awards to Mayor Bob Backon, Good Times Music owner Susie Landers and Robert Megowen, mayor pro tem and owner of the Douglas House Saloon. More

A Wormy Situation: Spruce Budworm Making an Appearance

The emerald ash borer is in the Calumet/Laurium area, and efforts to control it are active, but another creature, which feeds on balsam fir and spruce trees, is also in the area, but its long-term effects are not known yet. Bob Heyd, forest health specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Marquette, said the spruce budworm is increasing in numbers, but it's undetermined yet if that is a result of the natural cycle of population increases of the spruce budworm moth. More

From the Email Bag

Fisher 135

Fisher 135
Fisher 135 was the site of Dr. Berry's chemistry lectures. He needed no microphone and by the end of the first couple of weeks he pretty much knew who you were and where you usually sat, even in the big room.

Fisher 135 is where Alpha Phi Omega did a 35 cent movie, three shows on Friday and there on Saturday in the evenings. Usually pretty recent movies too. We had Macintosh amplifiers, Voice of the Theater speakers and we purchased two Graflex 16mm sound projectors for smooth transitions from reel to reel.

Chris Otis, '70

Editor's Note: The Film Board still does those inexpensive movies.


Had physics lecture in there. Can’t remember the professor’s name but he had the unique ability to draw perfect circles on the blackboard. A student asked him one day how he drew perfect circles. His response was, “It’s easy. You just keep the radius constant.”

Brett E. Johnson
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

Brett: I guessed Dave Chimino, as I've heard from others. But, did Doc Berry have this ability, too?


I know I spent many hours in that room but the picture brings back only a few memories for me! That photo was taken long after my time at Da Tech. Didn’t have such luxuries as flat panel monitors or LCD projectors that dropped out of the ceiling. I think I remember the side walls near the stage but am not sure about the fluorescent lights.

But we did have cheap movies in that room practically every Friday and/or Saturday night!

Joe Moore
BSME, 1973
MSSM (USC), 1980


Hi Dennis-

Two memories that stick out in my mind..

In the early 90s (probably 91/92), I was in MY242/3 with Dr. Mark Plichta. He used to wear a fedora and leather jacket to class nearly every day. He looked like Indiana Jones, and we all loved the class. Someone in the class hi-jacked the sound system, and played the theme to the Indiana Jones' movie when he walked in one day. We all had a good laugh that day.

Later, when I came back to Tech, I went to my future husband's class to pick him up for lunch - one of the Chem classes in 135. He asked the class a question, and I was still sharp enough with my chemistry to figure out the answer. Since none of the students in the large class were willing to answer, I raised my hand, and shouted the answer out. Paul, of course, was then more than willing to introduce me to the students, and inform all of the biomedical engineers that I would be making their lives tough in a few years. I didn't raise my hand again when meeting Paul for lunch in Fisher 135!

Debra D. Charlesworth, PhD

The Blue Skirt Waltz, Beginnings!

As I remember the origin of the Blue Skirt Waltz fight song, it was around 1949/50. At that time there was a disk jockey at WHDF in Calumet who kept playing the Frankie Yankovich song, the Tip Top Polka. I had a copy of that song on my 45 rpm machine, since gone. The reverse side of that disk is The Blue Skirt Waltz, and that DJ also kept playing the Blue Skirt Waltz over and over to the annoyance of many, apparently also the student body at Tech. I think they then parodied the song into a fight song that year and it stuck.

Perhaps others have a different memory of the origin.

I lived in Calumet where we had only one radio station at the time so we were stuck with whatever the DJ played. I found him very annoying at the time. He was new to the area and was very different from our historical format.

Bill Davison, 52, Met. Eng.


It was 1953 or 54, most likely 54, that the Blue Skirt Waltz was first sung at a student event. It was at a hockey game in Dee Stadium. Prior to that time the engineer's song was being sung at hockey games, very lustily and being accepted as quite lewd, racy or bawdy as it impacted the listener. This song had been introduced or slipped into the repertoire quietly and barely noticed at first but with each game it became louder and more pronounced until no one could ignore it. The students really enjoyed singing this out!

At the same time the Blue Skirt Waltz, provided by Frankie Yankovitch and his band, was being played on local radio almost continuously; it was a joke among students. Then the band was directed to not play the Engineer's song at public events since it was offensive to some and reflected a negative image upon the school. So, without fanfare and supposedly spontaneously at one of the hockey games the band struck up the Blue Skirt Waltz and the students all stood and sang it out, loud and clear. Obviously this repartee delighted the students who resented the censorship but it was apparently accepted by everyone and continued to be sung at following events for the remainder of the season.

William 'Bill' Saul, class of 1955

Thanks and Colors

Last week’s TechAlum news was particularly picturesque and interesting! It looked like a great fall weekend for Homecoming. I too usually wear MTU gear, or at least have the bright yellow MTU luggage tag on my bag, when I travel. It does get noticed! I didn’t know that the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum is now going to be on Sharon Avenue. What happened to the plans for it to be up by the Quincy Hoist House?

Take care,
Ellen J. Kehoe

Thanks, Ellen. I know proximity to the main campus is a concern for the A. E. Seaman Museum, but I haven't heard that this is permanent.


I live and work now in Nebraska the home of the Big Red N. In self-defense, I do have a red t-shirt. Anyway, some of us were discussing school colors and as it worked out most schools had two colors some had just one. It then dawned upon me that I couldn’t for certain say what Tech’s colors are. Or, even how many colors. As I recall and remember there has always been three colors. Black, white/silver, and some kind of yellow (certainly not maize, but maybe gold?). Do you know what the Da Tech’s official colors are?

George Teachman

George: Silver and gold, officially, and our Huskies wear combinations of black and yellow, mostly, or white, yellow, and black.

Dean Hesterberg

1) I look forward to receiving this newsletter every time. You have done a great job of capturing really interesting material and pictures. I know it is a lot of work, but this Toot appreciates the effort. Well done!

2) I am sure you know Dr. Gene Hesterberg (Former Head, Dept of Forestry) died on September 26th in Hancock. How about an article on him in a coming issue? Dig into his Army service during WW II. Most people do not know that he commanded a unit composed of black soldiers (with white cadre). The Army realized even then that Gene Hesterberg reflected the attitude and compassion needed to command this type of unit. He was decades ahead of his time in providing even-handed treatment of all people. He is one of my heroes and a lot of the guys who graduated in Forestry share the same regard for Gene.


Lou Best
FR ‘70

Lou: I inadvertently left Dean Hesterberg out last time. His obituary is above. He was, indeed, a great man.

Proud Parents

Michigan Tech's 2010 Homecoming King, Paul A. Valencia '11, Biological Sciences/Pre-professional is the son of Alumnus David C. Valencia,'77, Mechanical Engineering and Gloria J. Valencia of Lubbock, TX formerly of Bay City, MI.


David C. '77 & Gloria J. Valencia

Class of '71 Reunion Coming?

Hi Dennis;
I am a graduate of Mining Engineering, class of 1971. I think it would be neat to plan a of 40th re-union for my class mates. How would I get a list of the graduates and their contact information? Could you help me with that? I just sent messages to Richard Tinsley and Mike Tapics, 2 buddies but am looking for others. Dennis Miller, Richard Saccany, the Nagawalla brothers, Wayne Rewega and more. Thank you.

Best regards.


James Wade, P. Eng.

Editor's Note: We put Jim in touch with the Alumni Relations folks, so stay tuned!

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Job Opportunities

On Campus

SFHI Faculty Positions in Energy and Health

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Culture Studies
Assistant Professor of Composition
College of Sciences and Arts—Humanities (Tenure Track)

Assistant Professor in Combinatorics
Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education
Assistant Professor in Comp Math and Numerical Analysis
College of Sciences And Arts—Mathematical Sciences (Tenure Track)

Information Technology Analyst, Information Technology Services and Security

Director of Student Activities, Student Activities

Research Associate, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Assistant City Engineer—Project Development, Green Bay
Human Resources Department, 100 N. Jefferson St., Room 500, Green Bay, WI  54301, (920) 448-3149; www.ci.green-bay.wi.us  EOE.

Other local jobs: